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K&L Staff Recommendations
We couldn't be more excited to bring you another installment in what hopefully will turn out to be a long, fruitful project with wineries from around the United States, working with us directly to make exclusive bottlings for our customers. The Domestic team here at K&L has spent a great deal of time kicking around the idea of approaching wineries or winemakers we love, and asking them to work with us to create exclusive wines to our specifications. Furthermore we wanted to not only promote these outstanding wines, but the wineries behind them (rather th... Read More »
We can tell you this much: our Kalinda private label hooks you up with awesome wine at a fraction of what you'd otherwise pay for this exact same wine under its normal label. While we have to remain quiet about the source of this beauty, we can tell you that it sells elsewhere under the winery label at a much higher premium. Get it while it lasts.
From the winery website, "When we say Fossil Point rocks - we mean it! Calcareous shale and coarse sand were uplifted from the floor of an ancient ocean and then weathered into place over millennia. It became a place of deep beauty and vast potential. Fossil Point is a rugged headland with sweeping views of the coastline stretching from Port San Luis to the Guadalupe Dunes. The Point is just five miles due west of the vineyards that are its namesake. Sunny afternoons are cooled by marine breezes sweeping off the Pacific Ocean, along Fossil Point to the v... Read More »
Killer New Price! -Produced and bottled by Brewer-Clifton, the "B-C" Kessler Haak Pinot Noir is a single vineyard wine that comes from the organically farmed Kessler-Haak Vineyard. It is located off Highway 246, about 7 miles west of the town of Buellton, in the heart of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. The blend is made up of 25% Clone 667, 25% Clone 113 and 50% of Clone 115. Only 161 cases were bottled of this unique wine.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Ripe aromas of passionfruit, kiwi and nectarine rise alongside greener elements of celery stalk, wet thyme and Granny Smith apple on this promising early look at the vintage. The tongue tingles throughout the sip, with flavors of crisp apple, yellow melon and crushed chalk. Buttercream appears on the finish." (2/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Bright yellow. Ripe yellow plum and orange aromas show a touch of heat and pick up a spicy element with aeration. Fleshy and broad in the mouth, offering pliant pit and orchard fruit flavors that could use more structure. Finishes with decent ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Delicious aromas of ripe cherry pie and black cardamom are quite sexy. The palate is far more complicated and layered, with the tartness of plum skins, richness of strawberry, balsamic reduction and spiciness of black sage." (7/2015)90 points Antonio Galloni: "(made from fruit grown in the Bien Nacido, Riverbench and Solomon Hills vineyards; no new oak): Bright red. Highly perfumed scents of spicy redcurrant, raspberry, fresh flowers and smoky minerals. Juicy red berry flavors pack a solid punch but come off as lithe. Brisk red berry skin and white pepper qualities dominate a long, ...Read More »
The wine is made up of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. It drinks well right now but should hold for several years. Members of the K&L staff had a chance to go down and spend a couple hours with Doug and his crew at the winery. The thought was to make a red blend from Happy Canyon, which K&L had never done before. Happy Canyon is the smallest AVA in Santa Barbara County. It lies north and west of Lake Cachuma and is home to six major vineyards: Cimarone, Grassini, Happy Canyon Vineyard, McGinley, Star Lane, and... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby-red. Red fruit preserves on the nose, with complicating notes of licorice and allspice. Lively raspberry and bitter cherry flavors show very good precision, complemented by a bright mineral quality that gains strength with air. This silky, energetic pinot finishes with strong cut, persistent sweetness and sneaky, interwoven tannins. (JR)" (12/2014)
This is a delicious new Chardonnay made in collaboration with Talley winemaker Eric Johnson. All of the fruit comes from Talley's Oliver's Vineyard. It is a compilation of five different barrels that domestic buyer Bryan Brick chose alongside Johnson down at Talley earlier this year. Here's a breakdown of the components: Barrel #1 is the backbone of the blend; it's earthy and savory, with a wealth of complexity. It's made from the oldest block in the vineyard and the same block that goes into Talley's vineyard designated Chardonnay. Barrel #2 comes from ... Read More »
Praise from the Wine Advocate: "Without a doubt, Steve Clifton is producing some of the finest examples of Italian variety wines in California. While I think you get the most bang for the buck from Steve’s more inexpensive whites and reds, his upper-tier Nebbiolos and blends certainly have unique characters and offer high quality." (JD, 08/2013) And from Antonio Galloni's Vinous: "Is there anything Palmina doesn't do well these days? In the past, this lineup of Italian-inspired wines has always had one or two slight underachievers, but not this year. Eve... Read More »
Arguably the most popular of the co-branded wines with our staff last year was the 2010 version of this wine so it had a lot to live up to this year. The good news is the staff is every bit as excited about it this year and we hope that enthusiasm will rub off on you. Bob Lindquist was more than happy to work with us again this year and put together this 100% Syrah bottling from certified Demeter Bio-Dynamically grown vines in the cool Edna Valley Appellation. Unmistakably Syrah from the first sniff of the nose the bold cracked black pepper, fried bacon,... Read More »
From the winery: "This is a lighter, fresher style of this wine than normal but with that distinct floral and peach character from the Viognier. This is balanced by citrus and green pear character from the Chardonnay. Because of the short crop our production of this 2012 is just over 2000 cases."
From the winery: "The 2014 Pinot Grigio is sourced entirely from Honea vineyard in Los Olivos. 2014 marks the earliest pick in Steve's winemaking career, a result of the general conditions in California (drought, heat, etc). Interestingly, while it was an early pick for Palmina, it lined up with Pinot Grigio harvest dates in Friuli with many of Steve's counterparts such as Bastianich and Scarbollo. Pale gold in color. Bright aromas of yellow stone fruits, white flowers and fresh herbs. Flavors of fresh lemon bar and Asian pear excite the palate. There's ... Read More »
Another great brew from wine country. Brewery notes: "Hoppy Poppy IPA is a light-bodied, 'WestCoast' India Pale Ale featuring Centennial, Cascade, and Simcoe hops and poppy seeds. Like Figueroa Mountain in May, this brew is bursting with a bouquet of floral, citrusy hop flavors and aromas. Like Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc this brew is dry, citrusy and floral. Bright aromas of grapefruit, orange oil, lemon zest and pine needles abound. The flavor is mellow and smooth with a very moderate lingering bitterness."
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Wine Spectator: "Smooth-textured, with zesty wild berry, raspberry and black licorice flavors, showing spicy floral scents and a touch of lavender, gliding through on the finish. Drink now." (8/2015)91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby-red. High-pitched red berry and floral scents are sharpened by suggestions of white pepper and allspice. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become fleshier and sweeter with air. Fruit-driven and accessible, finishing with strong punch, repeating florality and slow-building supple tannins." (12/2014)
Margerum Wine Company has long been a favorite of K&L. Doug Margerum, owner and director of winemaking, started out on the retail side of things. He and his family opened Wine Cask in Santa Barbara in 1981 and spent more than a decade building a fantastic wine shop and bistro. During much of that time, Doug was also building an amazing wine company. Margerum Wines are fantastically balanced and go beautifully with food. They are pure and clean, showing off the beautiful fruit from around Santa Barbara County. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity t... Read More »
A joint project from your K&L domestic buying team and a high-profile winery in the Santa Barbara area. The fruit for this wine comes from a cooler vineyard site with a north-facing slope. Clone 828 is a Dijon clone that matures early and often shows lots of structure, color and complexity. In general, the clone shows great acidity, red and blue fruits and palate presence. Because of its roundness and completeness, clone 828 makes an excellent individual bottling.
From the winery: "Pale straw in color, this vintage of Talley Vineyards Estate Chardonnay has aromas of grilled nuts, honeysuckle, and lemon oil. Citrus notes of lemon curd and lime zest characterize this refreshing medium bodied chardonnay. The wine finishes clean with hints of minerality and crushed stone. Enjoy this wine with fresh swordfish or sautéed sea scallops."
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Bright yellow. High-pitched aromas of tangerine, peach and white flowers, with a stony accent gaining strength with air. Bright and racy on the palate, with juicy acidity lifting and intensifying the flavors of white peach and fresh citrus fruits. Finishes with an appealingly light touch, lingering minerality and strong persistence. Quiet elegant for the variety, especially for a New World rendition. According to Chad Melville, his family recently sold their Verna's vineyard, north of Los Alamos and in the Santa Barbara County appellation, because they ...Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Cuvee Le Bec is laced with attractive dark red fruit, smoke, tobacco, wild flowers and spices. Grenache adds the bright-toned fruit and silkiness while the other grapes in the blend, the Syrah in particular, is felt mostly in the wine's mid-palate. The 2012 is 43% Grenache, 34% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 8% Counoise. (AG)" (7/2014) Wine Spectator: "Black raspberry and peppery caramel aromas lead to zesty but straightforward flavors of cherry and herb. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Counoise. (Web-2015)"
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the top rosés from Santa Barbara County that I was able to taste for this report, Palmina's 2014 Botasea Rosato di Palmina sports a light ruby/orange color to go with fabulous notes of strawberries, orange blossom and spice box. Perfectly balanced, supple and refreshing, with plenty of texture, this is rock solid stuff to buy by the case ... It also represents a terrific value. Bravo! (JD)" (6/2015)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Pale orange. Fresh pit fruits and red berries on the perfumed nose and in the mouth. Shows very good clarity and lift, with a spicy nuance emerging on t ...Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Bob Lindquist blends fruit from cool climates like the Santa Maria and Edna valleys with warmer-climate fruit from Paso Robles for this bottling. The 2012 is pretty great, especially considering the price, offering the full range of syrah fruit, from smoky depths to clean blue fruit to lifted floral and peppercorn aromas. It’s lively and gripping, for smoked pork." (10/2014)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Inky purple. Highly perfumed aromas of dark fruit liqueur, potpourri and incense, with a peppery spice quality emerging with air. Juicy blackberry and blueberry flavors are complicate ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Menthol and sweet sage aromas leap off this wine from Steve Clifton. They spice up the black cherry and blackberry juice backbone that comes from this Nipomo vineyard, located seven miles from the Pacific. The palate shows lots of energetic verve, with flavors of dried cranberries, raspberries, licorice and slate, finishing long on a sagebrush-driven sense of chaparral." (8/2015)91 points Antonio Galloni: "Brilliant red. High-pitched raspberry, floral pastille and Asian spice aromas are deepened by notes of cola and licorice. Nervy and precise on the palate, offering sweet cherry an ...Read More »
From our friends at Field Recordings, we bring you the Alloy Wine Works first Grenache Rosé in a 500ml can! That's right, people- 3/4 of a bottle for a crazy price, in an easily portable, very share-able can! It's 12.5% alcohol and ridiculously easy to drink. Hand-harvested from beautiful Central Coast fruit, this pretty rosé shows strawberry, watermelon, peach and vibrant acidity, making this a no-brainer for picnics, trips to the beach, the park, hiking, camping, tailgaiting- or just at home on the patio! The can is here- get on the boat! (-Sarah Covey... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "There’s some age showing on the nose of this wine, with cherry liqueur aromas most prevalent. It’s very tasty once sipped, and still strongly tannic, with dark cherry and black clove." (12/2014) K&L Notes: From Central Coast winery owner Nebil "Bilo" Zarif, who also founded Barnwood Vineyards, Summerland is a small (3,000 cases in the single vineyard collection) Pinot Noir specialist. The famed Bien Nacido Vineyard was planted in 1973, before the modern era of the Dijon clones, to Pommard and Martini.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "* Editors’ Choice * This phenomenal bottling from the winemaking team of Mike Sinor and Nathan Carlson hits the nose with a judicious touch of vanilla laced buttercream as well as scorched lemon slices and orange peels. It’s playfully lithe on the palate, with just a touch of oak warmth, racy acidity, chalky grip and a faint hint of dill. It’s great for now, but will age with nutty style thanks to the balancing tensions." (5/2015)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "In the same ballpark, the 2012 Chardonnay is a rich, soft and textured white that has classic white peach, citrus blossom, brio ...Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque ruby. Vibrant dark berry, olive and floral scents are complemented by notes of cracked pepper and smoky Indian spices. Very syrah, offering sweet blackberry, violet pastille and fruitcake flavors braced by juicy acidity. Shows very good clarity and energy on the finish, which features silky tannins and a late note of candied flowers. This is a superb value in elegant California Syrah." (12/2013) K&L Notes: Joey Tensley commented, "This vintage we've done a little something different with the Santa Barbara County blend by bringing the cool climate Mormann V... Read More »
Qupe should be on the radar of any California Chardonnay drinker who is interested in a wine with moderate alcohol and loads of character. Y Block is one of the older Chardonnay blocks at Bien Nacido. It’s located on the gravelly river banks of the Cuyama River, just opposite the winery. Qupé is the only winery that gets these grapes. Lucky for them (and for us), because this fruit-forward, though balanced Chard is wonderfully tasty and a considerable value, too!
While the Central Coast is certainly known for its Pinot Noir, there are plenty of other great wines there as well. Take, for example, the wealth of Rhône-styled wines in the greater area. The 2011 De Su Propia Cosecha “La Cosecha” Central Coast Rhône Blend is one of the new steals we found on our recent Central Coast trip. With pretty tones of violet, rich pork fat, fine spices and a touch of blackberry, this juicy, plump wine was a treat and a shocking value. Cocoa powder, beef au jus and black pepper dovetail seamlessly to create a fun yet serious win... Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Coming from one of Ballard Canyon’s premiere vineyards, this offers aromas of black cherry, wet black loam and morning dew on sage. The mouthfeel is all silk, and flavors are savory, with elderberries, crushed sage and wild mint." (2/2015)92 points Antonio Galloni: "(made with 50% whole clusters and raised in concrete tanks): Opaque ruby. Deeply pitched black and blue fruit aromas are lifted and sharpened by cracked pepper and fresh flowers. Spicy and penetrating on the palate, with juicy blackcurrant and boysenberry flavors framed and lifted by tangy acidity. This suave, powerful, ...Read More »
According to the winery: "Our Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc, a perennial favorite, is sourced from our own estate vineyard in Los Olivos, as well as a number of other carefully farmed vineyards within the Santa Ynez Valley AVA. 2014 marks the 38th consecutive vintage for this remarkable value, and this bottle is the result of Fred Brander’s extensive experience and winemaking prowess. Rich, plush, and brimming with an almost tropical exuberance, this wine leads with a nose of lychee nut, honeydew melon, hibiscus blossom and wet stone, while flavors o... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
With California facing the second year of its drought, the Central Coast experienced a hot, dry vintage in 2013, which translated into concentrated wines. From the winery: "Translucent ruby in color, the 2013 vintage expresses classic characteristics of the Arroyo Grande Valley. The nose offers bright notes of red fruits like strawberry and raspberry, as well as hints of smoke and herbs. On the palate this medium-bodied wine yields notes of cranberry, Rainier cherry and damp soil with distinct mineral notes. With a soft, plush texture, the 2013 Estate Pi... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(43% grenache, 41% syrah, 9% mourvedre, 4% counoise and 3% cinsault): Bright violet color. Fresh blueberry and violet candy on the highly perfumed nose. Fleshy and appealingly sweet, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors that pick up spiciness with air. Emphatically fruity and supple in texture, finishing smooth and long, with just a hint of tannins." (11/2013)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Coming from 11 different vineyards, Doug Margerum’s blend of 43% Grenache, 41% Syrah, 9% Mourvèdre, 4% Counoise and 3% Cinsault offers squeezed olallieberries and dried oregano on the nose. ...Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Light yellow-gold. Tangerine, pear skin and a hint of honey on the perfumed nose. Broad and silky on entry, offering pliant orchard and citrus fruit flavors that tighten up on the back half while picking up a touch of bitter quince. Nicely taut for the vintage, finishing with strong thrust and persistent mineral and floral flourishes. Nikki and Jeff Nelson have fully settled into their own facility just north of metropolitan Buellton. They recently took on a full-time winemaker, James Sparks, whose brother-in-law Brandon Sparks-Gillis is part of the Drag ...Read More »
Connoisseurs Guide: "Quite dark in color and suggesting a fair sense of extract with a tilt to ripe cherries and plenty of size on the palate, this somewhat uneven youngster turns out to be a bit stiff in feel with obvious acidity providing a tart counterpoint to its short-lived sensations of suppleness. The richness first promised is hard to find at the finish, and, while it may find better integration with time, it is a wine that needs a few years of age and bit of good luck if it is to grow into real beauty." (2/2015) Wine & Spirits: "Ripe and grapey, this lasts on simple, sun-warmed blue f ...Read More »
93 points Antonio Galloni: "Dierberg's 2012 Chardonnay is gorgeous. Lemon oil, tropical fruit and butter are all tempered by the cool microclimate here. The flavors remain bright, focused and nuanced in a crystalline Chardonnay that stands out for its precision. A hint of sweetness from the oak adds complexity, but overall, the 2012 is a wine built on energy. Dierberg, and its sister property, Star Lane, is in a bit of a transition at the moment. New winemaker Tyler Thomas took over with the 2013 vintage, while the 2012s were finished by assistant winemaker Jeff Connick. Thomas ma ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This single-vineyard selection from the Jackson Family’s Santa Maria Valley winery kicks off with scents ranging from red, blistered tomato to pomegranate reduction and mole sauce. On the palate, flavors vary from sweeter berry to tart cherry, with a savory, roasted pork element rounding out the wine." (10/2014)
Excited by the quality of their 2013 Pinot Noirs, the winery describes this multi-vineyard blend. "Strawberries and raspberries aromas slowly climb out of the glass. Overtime more of the anise and clove will mix with these other aromas. Currently the wine is young with mouth filling intensity. Complexity will increase as the wine ages, but this wine should stay youthful for 6 or 7 years. Like all Au Bon Climat wines, this is a food wine."
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Opaque ruby. Aromas of cassis, cherry compote, cured tobacco and pungent flowers, with a note of black olive emerging with air. Fleshy, sweet and seamless in texture, offering round dark fruit preserve and bitter chocolate flavors plus a hint of spicecake. Fine-grained tannins give shape to the finish, which features a sexy floral nuance and a touch of candied violet. In a fairly savory style, which will make it very flexible at the table. (JR)" (12/2014)
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale yellow. Vibrant pear, nectarine and lime aromas are complicated by wet stone and white flowers. Silky and sharply focused, offering energetic citrus and orchard fruit flavors lifted and sharpened by dusty mineral and floral tones. This juicy, exhilarating wine offers a suave blend of depth and vivacity and finishes on a bright note of lime zest." (12/2014)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Doug Margerum blends fruit from the McGinely, Curtin, Star Lane, Happy Canyon and Grassini vineyards for this ever-popular bottling. Aromas of honeysuckle, green pears and ceanothus blossoms introdu ...Read More »
Dragonette Cellars' Grenache has been praised in recent vintages as having "the restraint you’d expect from Grenache that hails from Pinot Noir ZIP codes...." (Wine & Spirits)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Chardonnay Estate Sta. Rita Hills is a smoking effort that represent a fabulous value in Chardonnay. Made in a pure, clean style, it was barrel-fermented and aged 8 months in neutral oak. It gives up serious notes of lemon, lime peel, tinges of wild herbs and salty minerality to go with a medium-bodied, balanced and elegant profile on the palate that keeps you coming back to the glass. (JD)" (8/2014)91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright yellow. Very fresh aromas of white peach, tangerine, gingery spices, jasmine and iodine. At once rich and lively, with bright acidity and firm ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Uplifting aromatics of blackberry soda and purple flowers provide a nose that could be sniffed all day, hinting at a fun but elegant GSM. The flavors fall in line, with cola, Bing cherries and rose water combining for a light, floral palate, yet with green tea tannins and tartness to keep it grounded." (12/2014)
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark red. Vibrant red fruit and floral pastille scents are complicated by notes of allspice, star anise and smoky minerals. Sappy and precise on the palate, offering sweet raspberry and cherry flavors deepened by a hint of candied licorice. Shows a delicate, vaguely Pinot-like character on the finish, with the mineral and floral notes repeating." (12/2014)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Syrah is the star of this new appellation, but Grernache does mighty fine too, in this case offering aromas of strawberry reduction sauce, black cloves and cardamom. The palate is heavily laced with crus ...Read More »
Here's a light, copper/salmon-hued, lively and fresh rosé from Tatomer, the up-and-coming Central Coast force for all wines good and Teutonic. Best known for Riesling, they've made this pink wine from 100% Spätburgunder, aka Pinot Noir, from the top of the John Sebastiano Vineyard.